They will start at long odds but trainer David Hayes is willing to give his up-and-coming Fastnet Rock filly Rock Robster their shot in the big time in this Saturday’s ATC Australian Oaks 2012 at Royal Randwick.
There are still officially 65 three-year-old fillies vying for a spot in the capacity 18-stater, four-emergency final field for the $550,000 Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) this Doncaster Mile Day, however the Australian Turf Club (ATC) believes the final field could feature as few as seven starters.
“At this stage we are looking at probably seven or eight runners,” the ATC’s Racing Manager Colin Tuck said.
“But there could easily be more, depending on how horses pull up from the weekend.”
One horse that will be there is last Saturday’s Adrian Knox Stakes winner Full Of Spirit after connections paid yesterday’s late entry fee.
Likely to open near the top of the ATC Oaks odds at bookmaker.com.au, the Roger James-trained Full Of Spirit will be taking on an odds-on favourite in Streama.
As short as $1.60 in the pre-field Australian Oaks betting markets yesterday, Guy Walter’s Flight Stakes winning Stratum filly Streama will be fresh off a second behind the mighty Mosheen in the Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) and mighty hard to beat.
Another three-year-old that will be much further down the markets is the Rock Robster, the hopeful last seen running second to Backbone in the Listed Galilee Final (2400m) at Mornington.
A winner of just two of her 10 career starts to date, including the Listed Tasmanian Oaks (2100m) at Launceston back in February, Hayes is confident Rock Robster is well suited to the 2400-metres and should be competitive on Saturday.
“If something goes wrong with Streama then Rock Robster is in with an each-way chance,” Hayes said.
“Her form is good enough for her to run and she does run a mile-and-a-half.”
Rock Robster has been ridden by no less than eight different jockeys over her career to date, and on Saturday in the Oaks Craig Williams will become the ninth.
Williams will be out for his personal best ninth Group 1 win for this season, the ace hoop yet to score an ATC Oaks victory.
Hayes too is yet to prepare an Australian Oaks winner over his 60 Aussie Group 1-winning career as a trainer to date.
The 2012 Patinack Farm Australian Oaks final field will be released on Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au along with a detailed race and betting preview.
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